Slideshow of quilts

Monday, August 30, 2010

Easy Sugar Cookies
I found this wonderful recipe this weekend and enjoyed making these cookies, they tasted like home and were easy to make without the use of a mixer (something I keep getting told is unavailable in India).
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of butter softened (very soft)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth add in egg and vanilla, gradually blend in dry ingredients. Roll into balls of dough and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven 375 degrees or 190 degrees C. Let cookies stand two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

I was also able to finish making the monkey socks this weekend: They turned out great and were easy to make, once I had the pattern down they went swiftly.

I also started to make the sock blanket which will use up my leftover sock yarn but will be years in the making.
Dave and I at the Vijay Villash Palace in Mandvi

We traveled down to Mandvi this weekend for a little family get away. We toured the Palace and the grounds and then headed down to the beach. As with all things India it was an adventure. What we saw of the Palace was interesting the gardens appear to have been beautiful at one time.  We heard lots of wild life walking up to the palace from the parking area.  We removed our shoes to enter the palace and walked down the long hallway to see the sitting rooms and the dining room.  Very unimpressive, but the morning rooms and the porches had incredible views of the surrounding area.  I found myself humming "I'm proud to be an American" mostly because most Americans have homes as nice, maybe not as big but furniture and things could be found in any american household. And although the structure was large the rooms were not very big on the inside and of course it was hot. There also wasn't a very good breeze which was surprising considering most of the places I have been in India seem to be built to take advantage of the breezes here which are wonderful.  I think I was disappointed more due to hollywood rather than the actual facts, hollywood made the Indian palaces seem so wonderful in the old movies, I guess I had my expectations raised.
As we walked back to the car, Liz had a young man follow her all the way to the car, he couldn't take his eyes off of her.  We also had our picture taken by the various indians passing us, my guess is that white people are rare here.

We arrived at the beach which is on the Arabian sea.  As always, the water has a very calming effect on me.
The wonderful drive leading to the beach.  This is one of the cleanest
areas I have seen in India,  very beautiful.

When we arrived at the beach we were met by these 3 camel rides.  They followed us the whole
time we were at the beach arguing over who would be the one to give us a ride. They stood right behind us at the waters edge and then followed us as we walked around the water.  We opted not to get a ride as we didn't want to start a riot over having to pick one.

this boat was out on the water, a very wonderful sight.


Friday, August 27, 2010

It Couldn’t Be Done By Edgar Guest
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

This poem has always been a favorite of mine but since moving to India it has become more meaningful.  Here I always here "It can't be done".  Well, usually with a little effort it can be done and it will bless your life to put in the effort.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I saw the most amazing film last night called "3 idiots". It's a Bollywood film about 3 men who attend an engineering college in India. It details how their amazing friendship helps them to navigate the competitive environment of one of India's top engineering schools. The movie celebrates, friendship, loyalty and honor. If it's not my favorite movie of all time, it sure rates up there in the top 5. Definitely a movie that every teacher and student should watch.

We had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Mumbai and had a wonderful time. We were able to attend church on Sunday.  It was awesome to sing the hymns of Zion here in India with other Latter Day Saints.
Isn't this the cutest guy, Elizabeth always
finds the best kids at church

At least since moving here Tim and Liz
get along much better.

This is the entrance to the Mumbai branch, rather intimidating don't you think?
At least the guard is at any rate! but it felt like entering the temple I was so
glad to be at church!
We met some of the nicest members of the church. The speakers were so inspiring, and the teacher in Relief Society was so humble and sweet.  Her lesson went straight to my heart.

Enjoying Lunch with our new friends in Mumbai, Liz and Tim
loved the Italian food served at the Italian Kitchen, and I must admit
it was a wonderful break from Indian cuisine.

Our new friends Laurie and Darylann.  What a great blessing
it was to meet them.  They spent the day with us, showing us
what we can buy in India that we miss from the USA.

“We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the ‘thick of thin things.’ In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes.”

This quote arrived in my e-mail this morning and I love it.  I hate wasting time on things that in the end really don't matter. When I reflect on my life, I find that I value the time I spent with my children and family.  I am also very grateful for the time that I spent learning skills. When I was a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I came across a quote by Brigham Young, which was roughly, "There will come a time when if the Saints can't produce it themselves they won't have it" This struck me at the time because the saints were already living in the Salt Lake Valley so one would think they were already living that time! Anyway, I began my quest to learn to produce the things that I felt would be valuable to my family's survival. Sewing clothes, knitting, cooking, cleaning became priorities that have really blessed me since moving to India, because in many ways, if I can't produce it myself I don't have it here.

On that note I'd like to share two projects that I have been working on since coming to india.  The first is a lace doily that I found on the vintage crochet website which I found though . I went on to join Celtwich's yahoo group for vintage crochet and have found it to be wonderful for finding great things to do with myself.

Pink Pineapple Doily by American Thread Company

Once that was completed I looked to my stash of sock yarn that I brought with me for my next project.  I found a great pattern again on for monkey socks. They are designed by Cookie A.  So far I am enjoying the pattern very much.
Monkey socks knit with fortissima socka yarn
The free pattern is found here:
While waiting for pictures to upload I was able to begin turning the heel so hopefully it won't be long before I am showing you a completed sock!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

This has been am amazing transition, I might be able to survive after all!  But it's only might.  My scanner doesn't work so I have to find a new one here.  The kids are enjoying making friends and are the rock stars of the school.  Although the parents are concerned that the Americans will corrupt their kids.  

Dave works 6 days a week and the kids go to school 6 days a week.  I am doing laundry every day because we don't have dryers here and it has to be hung up to dry.  Luckily our porch is covered because it is monsoon season and it rains a lot.  If it rains it takes all day for one very small load to dry.  The washer is tiny.

The staff here is bending over backwards to meet our needs. Our apartment is cleaned twice a day. (Remember I am the only one here all day) I have a "boy" who runs all the errands, a driver and they are in the process of hiring a housekeeper, one wonders what I am suppose to do??

We live on the 4th floor, and I have an amazing view of the city from my office window.  

I hope to get a windows operating system installed on my computer this weekend (if I can find it in Bhuj) so I can load up my genealogy software and get to work on family history. I'm trying VMFusion for running windows on my Mac.

I also hope to begin designing quilts again.  Lots of incredible fabric available here in India.

We received an e-mail from my son's new Mission parents, President and Sister Baker.  Included was this wonderful picture of my son, Mike who is currently serving a Spanish speaking mission for our church in Los Angeles, California. I now have the picture on my desk top to greet me each morning.  It is so wonderful to be able to see him.  I miss him so much.  He was always making me laugh.  He would love India.  I can't wait until he visits us here.  He is so supportive of our move here and reminds us to missionary work.

I made the banana muffins that I wrote about in my last post they turned out great!  I highly recommend the recipe.  We go to a miller and get fresh ground flour here.  There is no need to have your own personal wheat grinder.  You can tell them how you want the wheat ground, what type of wheat to use etc.  It is a wonderful perk of living in India. I didn't have as good of luck with my first attempt at bread making.  I don't think I kneaded the dough as long as I should have.  I am not use to mixing bread dough by hand so I will attempt to make it again today and hopefully it will turn out better.

I have begun preparing for seminary.  I am still awaiting the manuals from the church.  I found a wonderful talk by Jay Jensen, "Remember also the Promises", Ensign, Nov 1992, p. 80 it can be found at the following link:

In the talk he discussed watching for 2 types of promises when reading the scriptures.  Promises for this life and Promises for the next life.  He suggested that we have two columns and record the scripture references under the column they pertain to. He also discussed some types of promises such as the promises of power.  I will enjoy using this method as I study my scriptures each day.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My first post since moving to India.  We haven't had fast enough internet until now.  We were using a dial up connection!  Wow, it was like going back ten years in internet usage!  So glad to be in our apartment so we can have DSL!

Today I am going to make an attempt at baking some banana muffins, I found the recipe I am trying here:

I'll be sure and post how it all turns out.  I have been busy moving into our apartment and also crocheting a "Pink Pineapple" doily, just something to keep my hands busy while we were living at the resort awaiting our apartment.

I have had a hard time adjusting to India, the food, the water, the monsoon... but hopefully things will get better for me. We are truly blessed to have good employment in these troubled times.  I have been busy looking for on-line sources and found some of my favorites like King Arthur Flour will ship to India!  But others won't like Knit Picks!
My children at the Clubhouse resort

We've seen as many as 6 on a scooter.  It's an amazing site

Which is really important because we have a great difficulty finding things like refined sugar, brown sugar etc.  I am so glad that I know how to cook our favorite foods.  I once read a quote by Brigham Young which roughly stated said, "there will come a time for the saints, that if they don't know how to make it they won't have it!"  These were words I took to heart and I am now finding that it has blessed my life 100 fold.  Don't waste your time, learn all the skills you can for the blessing of your family.